The best part of Tracie Leix’s job? “The fact that (I’m) trying to save lives.” Leix is the supervising engineer for safety programs within MDOT for the State of Michigan. Hailing from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Leix graduated from Michigan Technological University in 2002 with a degree in Civil Engineering. Her days consist of analyzing car accidents and innovating ways to reduce severe crashes on Michigan roadways in every part of the state. Immensely compassionate, Leix hopes to eliminate fatal automobile accidents in our state. “I take every crash very personally. I wish there was something I could do about every one of them,” she said. As a mom, Leix’s approach to her job has changed considerably. “It’s amazing – the difference in the way I used to read a news article that (involved children) versus now. It just hits me. That could be my son … I take a lot more care in how I read crash reports,” she said. Leix welcomed her second child and first daughter in early November. As far as the drive home from the hospital, Leix said it was nerve-racking. Her tips for traveling Michigan’s roadways during the holiday season? “Slow down! You never know when the road is going to be icy or when someone coming the other direction is going to do something dumb … Give yourself plenty of time.”
Whitney Bunn is a junior at Michigan State University studying journalism and acting. An eternal optimist, Whitney loves yoga, dogs and everything French.